Liz Biden is someone who understands that there’s nothing quite like the comfort of being at home. The seclusion, the privacy, and the quiet make a home the ultimate sanctuary from life’s familiar course. Realizing the captivating feeling a home can inspire, Liz Biden has grabbed the attention of the luxury travel industry by opening her opulent homes as private escapes to welcome South African adventurers.
In the late nineties, Liz Biden and her husband, Phil, sold their shares of Jenni Button and left the South African fashion industry to turn one of their holiday homes into their first hotel, Royal Malewane. “It was a fit of madness,” recalls Liz. “I didn’t know anything about how to create or run hotels.” And yet, since January of 2000, Liz Biden and this bushveld hideaway have experienced fabulous recognition with awards like “Top 101 Best Spas in the World” from Tatler Spa Guide, a “Best Destinations” award from Forbes Magazine, and one of the “Top 57 Hot Spots in the World” by Condé Nast Traveler.
With so much confidence from Royal Malewane, Liz promptly turned her beach house into her second hotel, Birkenhead House, and her wine farm into her third hotel, La Residence. Similar to Royal Malewane, both of these hotels have also received incredible reviews including Birkenhead’s appearance on Condé Nast Traveler’s Hotlist in 2003 and La Residence’s recent “No. 1 Hotel in the World” award from Conde Nast Traveler’s Reader’s Choice Awards in 2013.
Each of the Royal Portfolio properties is known for its own individual identity. Liz has stayed away from joining group hotels and has spent a large amount of time in the unique and eclectic decor of her homes. “I have traveled all over the world and so I put together all the things that I have loved and enjoyed in other places,” says Liz.
Liz’s Birkenhead House is a rare sight, seated on the cliffs of Hermanus overlooking the Atlantic Ocean. A unique collection of inspired artwork, elegant chandeliers, and ocean view vistas are just a few of the marvels at this waterfront property. Her wine estate, La Residence, is known for its spectacular Tuscany villa feel, with ornate mirrors, lighting, artworks, and dressers. Set in the beautiful Franschhoek Valley, La Residence offers mountain vineyard vistas and nothing short of spectacular mountain views, beautiful sunsets, and estate-like grandeur. The exquisite Royal Malewane getaway lies among the untamed African bush and offers the sophistication and elegance of rich deckwood, Ralph-Lauren linens, and spillway pool waters. As there are only six suites at Royal Malewane, these luxurious accommodations also offer incomparable solitude. Additionally, Liz has one of only two scouts in the country on her staff, along with the only working master tracker, who helps guests to find some of the most spectacular wildlife in South Africa. She furnished her latest addition at Royal Malewane, Africa House, with 20 tables, windows, and even carved teak beds from Mombasa and Lamu. “When I see fabulous pieces, I buy them and we build the place around them.”
In 2014 Liz Biden added to her already impressive portfolio with the One Above Penthouse. A jewel in her collection of Royal Portfolio private residences in South Africa, the One Above Penthouse debuted with a splash at the ultimate Cape Town address. A two-story property perched atop One&Only Cape Town’s posh Marina Rise in the heart of the Victoria & Alfred Waterfront, the penthouse is South Africa’s most impressive accommodation on the most expensive piece of real estate ever sold in Africa. A six-floor ascent by private lift reveals treasures fit for a king at this fully staffed home. Wraparound terraces, rooftop pools, unparalleled views, access to a 280-bottle wine cellar, glamorous silver-lined rooms and a personal team of chefs and butlers contribute to the rare and flawless experience curated by Biden, one of the world’s leading hospitality design minds.
Liz has loved every minute of her role in creating the Royal Portfolio. “It has been such a joy to pour my heart into them and it has been even more rewarding to see the wonderful customers enjoy them so much.”
To experience the world-class hospitality of the Royal Portfolio hotels in Ker & Downey style, contact your travel professional. To stay up to date on all of our online content, follow us on Facebook and Twitter.